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Budget Reduction Update - April 11, 2024

Learning for a Lifetime - Salem-Keizer Public Schools

Below is information for the community about the district’s recommended reductions to balance the budget for the 2024-25 school year.

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In December, we announced the first $31 million in recommended reductions. Those cuts were mostly focused on the administrative, district, and departmental levels. Today we are announcing the second round of reductions. When combined with round one, the total budget cuts will be about $71 million and will affect schools.

We’ve spent the last eight months preparing the community and our schools for the reductions. We prepared by sharing information, and we prepared by asking for feedback about your priorities. Between October and today, almost 6,000 of you shared your opinions. In shaping these reductions, we attempted to act on what you told us matters most. 

Based on district goals, stakeholder feedback, and the application of our equity lens, the following areas are being protected as much as possible:

  • Dual language programs
  • Current career and technical education programs
  • Music or fine arts programs
  • Athletics
  • Elementary class ratio
  • Safety staff or safety systems
  • Special education services in schools
  • Mental and behavioral health services
  • AVID, AP and IB programming

Recommended Reductions 

Please view or download the PDF below for a summary of recommended reductions for the 2024-25 school year. 

Download recommended round 2 reductions as PDFs
Download recommended round 1 & round 2 reductions as PDFs

Opportunities for Public Comment

Throughout this process, engaging with our community about these reductions has been one of our top priorities, which is why we began these conversations back in August of 2023. 

Next week, we have school board meetings on Monday and Tuesday, April 15 and 16 to discuss these reductions. We encourage members of our school communities to read the board materials, send in comments or sign up for public comment. On April 16, we will ask the board to take action so that we can begin our staff reductions.

During each of these board meetings, directors will allot a specific amount of time for public comment. By process, each public commentator is allowed three minutes to speak. The board may not be able to hear from all commenters who signed up in the allotted time. 

To ensure your comments are heard, we encourage you to consider submitting written comments, which will be send to board directors and posted publicly on our district website.

Budget Priorities

In August 2023, the district began sharing information about a large, forecasted budget gap for the 2024-25 school year. The district immediately acted by identifying cost reductions and savings, gathering public input, and working with the board to establish district priorities. 

The district began reductions in the fall and announced the first round of $31 million in recommended reductions in December. The second round includes an additional $40 million in recommended reductions. At nearly $71 million, this is the largest reduction in over a decade. It has been difficult to design and recommend. It will be even more difficult to make, but we cannot avoid reduction at this level. We must make these reductions to maintain financial health, while state funding formula reform remains our long-term goal and solution. 
Salem-Keizer Public Schools Board of Directors’ Long-Term Priorities.

The Board established the following priorities: 

  1. Regular attendance rates
  2. Third graders reading at grade level
  3. Ninth graders on track to graduate high school
  4. Four-year cohort graduation rate
  5. Student sense of belonging

The budget reductions attempt to prioritize the services and programs that help achieve these goals.

Learn more about the Board of Director’s Long-Term Priorities

Download Budget Priorities Summary as PDF

Download community conversations summary as PDF

Your Feedback & Input

Making reductions in a school district that serves 39,000 students impacts our whole community. We value the voices, perspectives and experiences of our staff, students, families and community members. There are difficult decisions ahead of us and that is why we are doing this work together. In the fall, we held community events at each high school and collected more than 1,300 responses around priorities and values. This spring, we collected more than 4,000 responses through a survey to rank the programs and services that are most important to the Salem-Keizer community.

Priorities and Values based on Stakeholder Engagement

Based on community feedback, the following programs and services were prioritized.

  • Student sense of belonging and safe and welcoming schools
  • Extracurricular experiences (e.g., performing arts, athletics)
  • Career and technical education opportunities
  • Rigorous and relevant instruction (e.g., AP and IB courses)

Application of Salem-Keizer Public Schools’ Equity Lens

Using Salem-Keizer’s equity lens, the following programs and services were prioritized.

  • Special education services
  • Mental and behavioral health services
  • Compensation and retention of multilingual educators and staff
  • Dual language program continuation and expansion
  • Community and family connections through specially trained and culturally competent staff

For more information, including frequently asked questions, please visit the Budget Updates page on the district website.